Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Hangover

Sugar Bear when I went to wake her up from her nap today:
This is what five days of playing with cousin bears, being spoiled by grandparent bears, and eating all the Tiger Butter you can handle looks like.

If you think she looks bad, you should see Papa Bear!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Secret Recipe

Today on Facebook, I'm divulging a secret recipe. Click here to read more.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stylin' and profilin'

At least someone in this den knows how to work the new boots style:

Friday, November 12, 2010


When Brother Bear set his Cub Scout sales goal at $600, I thought it was a bit lofty. But, being the crafty smart marketers they are, the company made the carrot pretty darn big:
Because, what this den needs is flying marshmallows, right?

I want to say "thank you" to all of you that helped. But, um, did I mention the flying marshmallows?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Today on Facebook, I'm talking about (of all things) being speechless. Click here to read more.


A conversation overheard at the breakfast table in The Four Bears Den -

Mama Bear: So, Brother Bear, did you have fun with Papa Bear at the (Insert Professional Basketball Team Name)'s game last night?

Brother Bear: Yes! It was really fun!

Mama Bear: What was your favorite part?

Brother Bear: The dancers.

Mama Bear: (Intrigued. Does he mean, "My favorite part was the dancers" as in, "I wanna BE a dancer" or something else? Must. Ask. More. Questions.) Hmm. So, what exactly was your favorite thing about those dancers, sweetie?

Brother Bear: I liked that they were so...flexible, Mama Bear.

Mama Bear: (eying Papa Bear and trying not to spew peppermint mocha coffee through her nose) Aha. Flexible. That is pretty cool, Brother Bear.

I mean, come on, Cyberbears, "flexible" is the exact word I think of when I look at this:
Don't you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A letter to Sugar Bear

Dearest Sugar Bear,

Your Papa Bear is tucking you away in bed, and I decided to write you a note. Mama Bear learned a lesson today. Actually, it's not like I learned it today, it's been 37 years in the making. And really, I'm learning it every day. But I'm writing it down for you today. Because it is my sincere hope that in writing this down, I'll begin to unravel the binds that keep me from remembering the lesson. More importantly, by making this public, I'll have a record for myself to live this lesson. To truly live it, so that maybe it won't take you 37 years to get there too. I hope not to get to preachy. But you know me by now Sugar Bear. And, occasionally, I can get a little preachy. Just listen to the heart of the message, because that's all that really matters.

Humor me.

Today I went shopping. Just a quick run through Target. I thought I might get a few new clothing items to add to my wardrobe as the season changes. Everywhere I look, there are bears running around in fall outfits, and I am totally digging the styles. My favorite is the leggings with knee high boots and an oversized sweater, shirt, or coat. I totally love it! I perused the aisles with this style in mind, grabbing leggings and shirts that matched the idea I had in my head. Pleased with my choices, I headed to the dressing room with confidence that I would have a cute outfit in no time. As I started to try on clothes, and found outfit after outfit in the "reject pile" that is when I remembered:

I have a big bottom.

Yep. It's true. There's no denying it. And, if genetics have anything to do with it, you will too Sugar Bear. I'm happy to take the blame, but I'm thinking the blame goes a bit further up the chain that just me. But not only do I have a big bottom, I have a small top in comparison. Big bottom, and small top make for very challenging, very frustrating shopping.

That's not the lesson I learned. I already knew that. And chances are, if you are reading this Sugar Bear, you know it too. The lesson is, as Paul Harvey says, "the rest of the story".

So, yes, indeed I have a large derriere. And I often make fun of it (here, for example). But more often than not, I'm frustrated by it. I'm frustrated that I don't look like all the other bears out there, especially the ones glaring at me from the glossy pages of magazines and movies. I'm frustrated that buying a dress usually means adding alterations to the tab. I'm frustrated that if I can get "skinny jeans" over my backside there's room for a small furry animal at the waistline, I'm frustrated that feeling "comfortable" heading out for the evening means I have to wear a very uncomfortable contraption called spanx. I'm frustrated that I've never tried a triathlon because I'm afraid to wear a bathing suit and have my hind end jiggling in public.

After a while, I kind of get beat down by this.

But today it stops. Today, I realized that there's more at stake to this issue than me. I have to think about you now too. Because your little eyes are watching me - and paying attention. Every time I come home from the store sad or look in the mirror and complain - you are learning. You are learning that a Mama Bear shouldn't love her body.

And that's just wrong. In so many awful, horrible, ways - it's wrong. Because what I see in glossy magazines and movies isn't the truth. It isn't the average, everyday bear. It is a lie. And every time I look in the mirror and see that I don't measure up, I'm continuing that lie. And I don't want to pass that on to you.

So, here are some truths I know, truths I'm going to hang on to. Truths I'm going to tell myself when the outfits don't look like I hope... I'm in some of the best shape of my life. I'm training for my 13th marathon and that meaty backside has followed me every step. Those hips kept you safe in my womb for 9 months and continue to carry you where you need to go most days. Sure, they're dimpled, but they are dimpled with life. Some of that life was blissful ignorance (my teens, when I could eat anything I wanted), some of it stupidity (my twenties when I fixed everything with food) and some of it joy (carrying and feeding you and Brother Bear). I'll wear those dimples with pride, as a badge of honor. A life lived abundantly. I will not be ashamed.

So, today, I'm going to start loving my body anew. I'm going to be a changed Mama Bear. And in the process, I'm hoping I'll help you learn to love the body God gave you - just the way you are.

Because you, my sweetest Sugar Bear, are beautiful - every single inch of you.

Believe me. Believe me.


Mama Bear

P.S. - In college, like me, you'll probably fall in love with a rap song (or another such song) that talks about how there are some bears who love bears with large backsides. You'll find it funny but also endearing. You'll say to yourself, you want a bear like that someday. Don't look for that bear. Because, he only cares about the exterior. Find a bear who loves the interior and recognizes that the exterior, while lovely, is simply the vessel that carries the important stuff. He's the one that will last. But...that's another lesson for another day....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pondering a P.R.*

* P.R. stands for: Personal Record. Runners (and other athletes) use it to describe a race in which they did their very best. For those of us middle/back of the packers, P.R.s are important. Because the only records we'll ever set are our own. And really, that's all that matters.

Today, I ran a P.R. for a half marathon. I'm pretty darn excited.

For entertainment purposes, I thought I would would walk you through my thoughts and actions during the process of setting a P.R. for a half marathon. For those of you runners, I'm hoping you'll be entertained. For those of you non-runners (seriously, today's the day to start!) you'll get just a wee glimpse into the mind of a crazy person runner. Enjoy.

Deep Thoughts In A Half Marathon:

  • First thought out of bed on race day: I THINK I'M GOING TO THROW UP. I THINK I'M GOING TO THROW UP. Seriously, my hands are shaking. What was I thinking? WHYdid I ever tell anyone that I was hoping for a P.R. today? There is no way I'm going to make it across the finish line, much less run my fastest race ever. Oh well. It was a nice thought. Now, where's the coffee?
  • Thoughts waiting in line for the porta-potty: This is ridiculous. How can this many people need to go to the bathroom? This is so inefficient! They need to have separate porta-potties: one for the poopers and one for the pee-ers. That one's open now? Uh, you can go ahead of me. No, I'm not being nice. It's self preservation. That bear was in thereWAY too long.
  • Standing and waiting for the start: Sheesh it's cold. I feel like I forgot something...what was it? Nah...just pre-race jitters. {Moment of silence announced} Prayer Time! "Dear Jesus, please don't let me die today. Or, fall flat on my face. Amen." Hmm..why can't I find a place for my gel pack today? Did I forget something? Nah...not as many times as I've run! Oh well. Where's a good place to put this? Hmm..the cavern of wasted space in my sports bra is the perfect place. {Star Spangled Banner starts playing} Dang! I always get so emotional when I hear this song sung. Wait. No one's singing? It's just music? Taped music? Hmm, my race funds put to good use, it seems!
  • Race Starts: I'M GOING TO THROW UP. I'M GOING TO THROW UP. I'M GOING TO THROW UP. Must do something to distract myself. Time to turn up the tunes!!
  • Three minutes in: Walk break (I take them every 3 minutes)! Oh, GOD, I'm going to be trampled!!!! Hmm..my left shoe seems a little loose. Wish I'd fixed that before I started. I have a feeling I'm going to regret that later.
  • One mile in: WATER BOTTLE! I FORGOT MY STUPID WATER BOTTLE? You'd think I was a rookie!!!! Oh well, I'll be forced to drink water from a cup with the rest of the crowd. I'll survive. I think.
  • Mile 2-4: Oi! My legs still feel like bricks. And we haven't even hit the hills. No way I'm P.R.ing today.
  • Mile 5: That sounds like a car coming up behind me, up this giant god-forsaken-hill. {Peek over shoulder} Oh, shew. It's just a bear pushing a cub in a jog stroller RIGHT PAST ME LEAVING ME IN THE DUST. No biggie. My ego can handle it. Wait, is that cowbell I hear? Indeed it is!!! HEY DEAR BEAR-FRIEND AND HER PRECIOUS CUB!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING OUT! IT'S SO COLD, BUT YOU CAME OUT, AND YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!!! MORE COWBELL!!! WITH FRIENDS LIKE THIS I CAN TOTALLY KICK THIS HALF!!!
  • Mile 5.5: Oh! I'm halfway now! Time for my gel! I think I'm going to start a group called, "Runners Against Flapping Fannies." I've seen too many fannies flapping out of too-short-shorts today. Geesh. BUY SOME LONGER SHORTS BEARS!!
  • Mile 6: Ooh. That mile was faaaast. Nothing like moral support to kick it up a notch. But maybe not SO much!
  • Mile 6.5: Oops. NOW I'm halfway. Nothing like a half marathon to challenge your already lacking mathematical skills! Seriously, you'd think I was a rookie!
  • Mile 7-8: Oh. Dear. Lord. When will these hills stop???? Time to kick it in if I want to P.R. Ignore screaming hamstrings. They are sissies.
  • Mile 9: What mile was that? Crap. I officially have no earthly idea what mile I'm at, but I'm too embarrassed to ask another runner. Wait, is that the 2:00 pace group in my sights???? Woooo hoooo baby!
  • Mile 10: Why hello, 2:00 pace group. Enjoy the view of my BEHIND folks. Because, I'm officially passing you now. I might just even SET A P.R. TODAY!!!
  • Mile 11: Excuse me lady-bear, did you just say, "keep going, you can do it" as I stopped for my regularly scheduled interval? Ugh. I want to trip you. You are going to regret saying that when I pass you in a few minutes.
  • Mile 12: I AM A KENYAN! I AM A KENYAN! I AM A KENYAN!!!!!!! I can totally do this. I'm going to do this!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M GOING TO DO THIS!!!! No tears girl, no time for tears!!! Oh, who am I kidding!!!
  • Mile 13: Why are all these bears standing around and NOT CHEERING FOR ME? I'm SETTING A P.R., bears! GET ROWDY!!!!
  • Mile 13.1: I DID IT! I DID IT! I cannot believe it!!!! Oh, stop looking at me. I know I'm screaming like a banshee-bear. I know I'm making a fool out of myself. BUT THIS, this right here? THIS IS MY MOMENT. I'm going to bask in it. And you CAN NOT take it away from me. So, I'm going to jump, and I'm going to scream, BECAUSE I JUST RAN A HALF MARATHON IN UNDER TWO HOURS!!!!
  • After receiving medal: Oh Dear Lord, I cannot walk. Breakfast burrito? Heck, yes! Bring it! Man. I'm really rethinking that whole - I'll walk home after the race. Two point two miles sounded so short this morning. Taxi? Taxi? Where are the taxis?
  • After arriving home: Bathroom. Coffee. Shower. Fuzzy Slippers. Bed. STAT.
Thanks for all of your support. I'm now going to bed.

For a week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Linking and learning...

Okay, I'm going to be honest.

I've been hesitant to link my weekly writing for my church's Facebook page to this blog. I don't know why. Maybe because it seems, I dunno, self-promoting. It's also a little different from my normal writing here - so it may be a stretch. There's also the whole "Oh my gosh you'll know where I live and my name and you'll come stalk me and kill me" thing. But, um, since my 3 loyal Cyberbears are family and friends - that shouldn't be a problem, right?

Honestly, this Facebook writing takes a lot of my time and, therefore, pulls me away from this blog. Which sometimes frustrates me. Because, the guilt of leaving you guys hanging is monumental.

The simple solution is, I know, to link this blog to my weekly column. "Duh!" you say. I know. Sometimes it just takes me a while to get there myself.

Thanks for being patient.

So, going forward, each week - normally Thursdays - (unless I'm overcome by writer's block) you can come here and find a link to my weekly musings for my church. And for those of you who aren't Facebook savvy (Papa Bear and Big Sister Bear, I'm talking about you), you can follow the link without a Facebook account! Yeah!

Hopefully, you'll enjoy it. And, hopefully, you won't stalk me, or call me by my real name, or anything scary like that.

Because, that wouldn't be fun at all.


Cross Training

Today on Facebook, I'm talking about cross training. Click here to read more..